What is Wikipedia? - Detail History of Wikipedia


Wikipedia: The Free Online Encyclopedia

Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia that is widely regarded as one of the most popular and reliable sources of information on the internet. It was launched on January 15, 2001, by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger, and since then it has grown into one of the largest websites in the world, with over 6.2 million articles in English alone. In this article, we will explore the history of Wikipedia, its impact on society, and how it has revolutionized the way we think about information.

History of Wikipedia

The idea of creating an online encyclopedia was first proposed in the early 1990s when the internet was still in its infancy. At the time, the dominant encyclopedia was the print-based Encyclopedia Britannica, which was expensive and difficult to update. However, with the rise of the internet, there was a growing demand for a more accessible and up-to-date source of information.

In 1993, an American computer programmer named Richard Stallman proposed the creation of a free online encyclopedia called the GNU Encyclopedia, which would be written and maintained by volunteers. However, the project failed to gain much traction, and it was not until 2000 that a similar project, known as Nupedia, was launched.

Nupedia was the brainchild of Jimmy Wales, a former options trader, and Larry Sanger, a philosopher and academic. The idea behind Nupedia was to create a high-quality online encyclopedia that would be written and edited by experts in their respective fields. However, the process of creating articles for Nupedia was slow and cumbersome, as every article had to go through a rigorous peer-review process.

To speed up the process, Wales and Sanger decided to create a new website called Wikipedia, which would allow anyone to create and edit articles. The name "Wikipedia" was a portmanteau of the words "wiki" (a type of website that allows collaborative editing) and "encyclopedia."

Wikipedia was launched on January 15, 2001, and from the very beginning, it was a massive success. Within a year, it had attracted tens of thousands of volunteers from around the world, and by 2006, it had become the largest encyclopedia in history, with over one million articles in English.

Impact of Wikipedia on Society

Since its launch in 2001, Wikipedia has had a profound impact on society. It has revolutionized the way we think about information, making it easier and more accessible than ever before. Today, Wikipedia is one of the most widely used reference works on the internet, and it is estimated that more than 1.7 billion people use it every month.

One of the most significant impacts of Wikipedia has been its democratization of knowledge. Before Wikipedia, knowledge was controlled by a small group of experts, who were the only ones with the resources and expertise to create and maintain an encyclopedia. However, with Wikipedia, anyone with an internet connection can contribute to the creation of knowledge.

This has led to a proliferation of the knowledge that was previously unavailable. For example, Wikipedia contains articles on a wide range of topics, from the history of philosophy to the latest scientific discoveries. This has made it easier for people to learn about a variety of subjects, regardless of their background or education.

Another impact of Wikipedia has been its role in promoting transparency and accountability. Because Wikipedia articles are written collaboratively, they are subject to constant scrutiny and revision. This means that errors and biases are quickly identified and corrected, making it a more reliable source of information than traditional encyclopedias.

Finally, Wikipedia has also had a significant impact on the way we think about intellectual property. Because Wikipedia is licensed under a Creative Commons license, it can be used, copied, and redistributed by.


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